Sermon Sentence:  We must yield to both Jesus’ authority and His provision on our behalf.  

Scripture:  Hebrews 7

From the beginning of time man has tried to live by the law and failed.  Actually the law was only successful in driving a wedge between mankind and God.  Therefore, God vowed to send a high priest on the order of Melchizedek, who was a priest of the Most High God, and also referred to as the king of righteousness and the king of peace.  Melchizedek appeared to Abraham and ministered to him after he had returned from battle.  Melchizedek brought Abraham bread and wine and blessed him saying “Blessed be Abram by the Most High God, creator of heaven and earth.  He gave God the praise for delivering Abraham’s enemies into his hands.  Abraham then gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14; 18-20).  Melchizedek was not an ordinary priest in that he had no mother or father or time of birth or death.  So when God declared that He would send a priest on the order of Melchizedek, it would not be on the basis of His ancestry.  Rather, it would be on the basis of a life that was indestructible. Verse 3 tells us that Melchizedek will be a priest forever, and God vowed that Jesus would be a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.
Even Melchizedek who was so highly esteemed could not save mankind from sin and certain death.  There is only one, perfect and without sin, who is able to save us and deserving of our worship and that is our High Priest, Jesus.
In a court of law, when someone is being tried for a crime, that person is usually judged by his/her peers.  In some cases a top notch attorney may be retained to represent the defendant and keep him/her out of jail.  This service is usually obtained at a very high price, but it is well worth it for the person on trial.   However, rather than holding us responsible, God has provided a different method to handle our sins.  We have been given a High Priest to intercede for us and He has never lost a case.  The most amazing part of the process is that we who owe everything will pay nothing.  Our High Priest who represents us has already paid the ultimate price and our account is cleared.  

Sermon Sentence:  We must yield to both Jesus’ authority and His provision on our behalf.  
Scripture reading:  Hebrews 7: 20-28
Jesus was the only high priest with an oath.  When God declared Jesus to be our high priest, He made an oath that He would be a priest forever and God would not change his mind.  Unlike earthly kings, even death could not stop the reign of this High Priest.  Actually, as a result of His death, His reign was expanded to all corners of the earth and furthermore, it was firmly established throughout all eternity.
The high priests were responsible for making intercession for the people as they offered sacrifices to obtain forgiveness of each person’s sins.  However, being that the priest was only human and not without sin himself, he first needed to offer a sacrifice for his own sins. It must have been an exhausting, never ending task for the priests.  Apparently, only a priest who had his own sins forgiven could intercede for anyone else.  Because all of us, including priests, have sinned repeatedly, the law was not effective.  Our only hope was a high priest who was holy, pure and without blame.  Unlike all other priests, He would not sacrifice even one animal on the altar.  After all, the one who is the perfect sacrifice would never have the need to offer any other type of sacrifice.  He would put an end to all sacrifices when he offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, reigning forever and always being available to intercede for us.  
During these last couple of months, services that we have come to depend upon and perhaps taken for granted have suddenly been yanked out from under us.  Fortunately, we still have those services that are life sustaining, but what would happen if the grocery stores or even more crucial the hospitals or urgent care facilities were no longer available?  Such a situation would be life threatening.  Now imagine depending upon a priest to make intercession for your sins, only to find that he has died.  We can now see the pure wisdom of having a Savior who is guaranteed to never leave us.
In these trying times, when we hear of any life sustaining offers, we are quick to share this information with those in need.  More now than ever, it is of utmost urgency for everyone to know that we have a High Priest who is able to intercede for us, lest someone should miss out on the chance of a lifetime?  While we are checking on our friends and neighbors to see if they need anything, may we also be mindful of their spiritual needs.   

Sermon Sentence:  We must yield to both Jesus’ authority and His provision on our behalf.  
Scripture reading: Psalm 110
 As far back as the reign of King David, the coming of Jesus was being foretold.  The Lord swore that He would be a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Just as Melchizedek was a priest who would be a priest forever, so Jesus’ reign would have no end.  Although Jesus’ earthly life began at a specific date and time, His life had no beginning, just as Melchizedek had no beginning of days.
 It was predicted that Jesus would arrive by way of an earthly birth.  “From the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth.”    Nothing of significance in the bible ever seems to occur on a perfectly tranquil day.  Instead the power of God is displayed by lifting us up in the midst of the storm. God promised that Jesus would rule in the midst of his enemies.  From the time Jesus was born, King Herod was trying to kill Him.  What is important here is that adversity or dire circumstances did not waylay God’s plan to send our high priest and our only chance for salvation.  There were many earthly kings, but they would eventually die, making this plan ineffective.  That is why God chose to send us one high priest who would live forever and always be available to intercede for us, so that we could be saved at any time or place of any day or night, leaving no chance for anyone to be left out.
If people were offered a way to extend their lives on earth, most of them would go to considerable lengths to take advantage of such an offer, even if it cost their life’s savings and more.  We were advised that hand sanitizer would be effective in keeping us safe from the current pandemic and there was a mad dash to the store to buy it.  We buy vitamins supplements and certain types of food that may keep us healthy hoping to add years to our earthly life. 
On the other hand, God gave His very best for us to extend our lives into an eternity beyond anything we could possibly imagine; yet many decline the offer.  During these uncertain times when we are just trying to survive from day to day, it becomes more and more obvious that this life is fleeting and fragile.  Jesus, our High Priest, extends his hand to us in the midst of our enemies.  Wouldn’t it be in our best interest to clutch onto the lifeline that has no end?
Now, more than ever, there are so many around us searching for this High Priest.  What better time than the present, in the midst of all the fear and turmoil, to show someone the way to Him.

Sermon Sentence:  We must yield to both Jesus’ authority and His provision on our behalf.  

Scripture:  Hebrews 7:11-28

The Levitical priests, who were the descendants of Abraham ministered to the people on the basis of the law, but the law was ineffective and, therefore, set aside.  God would send a new high priest with an oath that He would reign forever, and this oath would guarantee a better covenant.  If the people were to be reconciled to God, they would need a priest whose reign would have no end.  This would require a high priest who would never die as would occur with an earthly priest, and He would be on the order of Melchizedek who was declared to be a priest forever.  This High Priest, Jesus, the only one who was holy, pure and exalted above the heavens, would not need to offer daily sacrifices because He would offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice.
It now becomes crystal clear as to why King Herod was so desperate to kill Jesus.  Satan almost had us in his evil clutches when Jesus, our High Priest, made the ultimate sacrifice and effectively snatched us out of his hands.  Jesus secured our lives with His perfect sacrifice, only to freely hand our lives back to us, therefore giving us the choice of accepting His gift of eternal life.  There is no cost to us; we only need to accept the free gift.
Could we imagine, for a moment, being sentenced to death for crimes we have committed.  We are at the place where the axe is ready to fall and someone comes along at the last minute and pushes us out of the way and takes our place.  Then if that isn’t enough, we are told that our life has been extended into eternity at a beautiful resort beyond our imagination.  We won’t need the relaxing fruity drinks served on the beach, because we will be at perfect peace.  There is only one requirement; reservations are needed.  
We don’t know what minute of what day our souls will be required.  Our High Priest is on call 24/7 to make intercession for us.  What would be the outcome of putting that call off only to discover that we’ve waited too long?

Sermon Sentence:  We must yield to both Jesus’ authority and His provision on our behalf.  
Scripture:  Hebrews 7
God saw that the law was not sufficient, so He vowed to send a high priest on the order of Melchizedek.  If we compare Jesus to Melchizedek there are some similarities.  They both have no beginning and they will both live forever.  When Melchizedek blessed Abraham, he gave God the praise for Abraham’s success in battle, but as great as Melchizedek was, Jesus was far greater.  Jesus was the only priest to come with an oath.  He was the only one who had the qualifications and/or courage to make the ultimate sacrifice; and although we owe Him more than we can begin to repay, He asks only that we accept this amazing free gift.  Even Melchizedek accepted a tenth from Abraham for giving him a blessing.  The priests worked diligently placing sacrifices on the altar, but not one, not even Melchizedek could or would offer themselves as a sacrifice for anyone’s sins.  The Levitical priests were permitted to collect a tenth from the people they served, but the one who gave His life to save ours asks for nothing.  He who has given the most is the one who has asked for the least in return.
Several years ago, I watched a fictional movie in which a young child with a defective heart needed a transplant to live.  Not being able to find a donor, the child’s father offered his own heart, knowing that it would cost him his life.  In a similar fashion, our eternal High Priest gave His perfect heart to replace our diseased hearts.  
During this time of pandemic, survivors are donating their plasma to save others; and those recipients are at a loss to find the words to express their gratitude.  How much more deserving of our worship is our High Priest who gave His life in exchange for ours?
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